Tips to Teach Your Child to Be Honest
Values and standards are necessary, for without them we can drift through life like rudderless ships. Children who are not taught values become anchorless. Most communities in the world uphold certain common values such as honesty and truthfulness.
Since values are invisible they cannot be understood by little children. If you tell a child to be honest, he’ll want to know what honesty is. So the first thing you’ll have to remember in teaching an abstract principle is for the child to see it in bodily form. Parents are the physical entities closest to their toddlers.
One day, you could take your child to the green grocer’s. After you have chosen your vegetables and fruit, you’ll open your purse to pay the shopkeeper. Perhaps a badly torn note will come into your hand and you’ll be tempted to pass it on to the shopkeeper quietly. But then you could decide to use this as an opportunity. Show the note to your child; let her see that it is badly torn. Explain that if you were to give this to the shopkeeper, he will suffer loss. So you are not giving him this but another note that is clean and good. This is a lesson your child will remember.
THROUGH STORIES AND EXAMPLES:
Explain to your child is telling the truth is a good habit and telling lies is a bad habit that could perhaps land her in trouble. You could use the story of the boy who cried “wolf, wolf” too many time when there were no wolves, to make a fool of others. At last a wolf did come. Since nobody likes to be deceived, this time no one responded to the boy’s cries and he lost a lot of his father’s sheep. By his lies, the naughty boy caused a lot of suffering to others and to himself as well.
ON THE JOB:
This means you need to deal with your child as and when you catch her either lying or stealing. At least at the toddler level, children don’t think they are doing anything wrong when they take others’ things. You will need to explain that she has her things and they are hers. Although she can share with others if she wants to, she will not be forced to do so. In the same way, she must not forcibly take another’s things. Basically, it is important to deal promptly with each situation as it happens. If your child has brought back something from the school, make it a point to get it returned or make some kind of restitution.
BUILD AN ATMOSPHERE AT HOME OF TRUST:
Encourage your child to tell you every thing. Let him/her know that you care by listening to him/her and not simply hearing. If she knows that you won’t get angry, she’ll learn to confide in you and mostly she’ll tell you things as they happen. Sometimes, in rare cases her imagination might run away with her. The facts can always be verified. But on the whole you can trust your child.
LET HER KNOW THAT SHE CANNOT GET AWAY WITH LIES AND DISHONESTY:
If your child feels that she can get away with her little lies and deceit, let her know that she cannot. Don’t use empty threats- but use some form of discipline like not allowing her to watch her favorite cartoon or not letting her have her sweets for a period of time.
AVOID ASKING A QUESTION IF YOU ARE AWARE OF THE ANSWER:
Let’s say you’ve made a cake. And you tell him “Don’t touch the cake, it’s for desert”. You then leave the room and enter a few minutes later. There is frosting on your child’s face; you know he got it from the cake. There you ask, “Did you touch the cake?” Likely the child will sheepishly reply, “No?” Unfortunately, you set up your child to lie. Rather than ask, better to state, “I see cake on your face.”
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How to deal with a naughty child
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How to develop your child’s attention span.
Problems of parenting a preschooler